Modeling Water Motion near Seismic Waves Propagating across a Graded Seabed, as Generated by Man-Made Impacts

Open Access Peer Reviewed Publication 2016

Journal of Marine Science and Engineering

Seismic interface waves generated by seabed impacts are believed to have biological importance. Various wave types are of interest to seismologists, who can minimize the unwanted, but often dominant, ground roll waves with suitable instrumentation. Waves made by dredging and piling have been measured using geophones and found to be of this interface type, which propagate much more slowly than the pressure waves in the water column above. Short interface wavelets of a few cycles were modeled using transient finite element analysis (FEA). Wavelets with low losses have been modeled using graded sediment data from the literature. They do not radiate energy away from the interface because the evanescent acoustic pressures they generate decay rapidly with distance from the seabed. Associated water particle velocities are much greater than would be expected from similar acoustic pressure measurements in a free field. This motion is significant to aquatic life which is dependent on inertial sensors (otoliths, etc.) to respond to the environment. Additional amplification of the horizontal seabed motion of the adjacent water is predicted for a short seismic wavelet modeled in a graded solid seabed. Further recent analysis studied the distribution of the energy flux within the sediment layers.

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